What are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of being nice? Have you ever read the definition of nice? Synonyms include pleasant, agreeable, satisfactory and polite. Oh dear, is that really how you want to live your life? Voltaire was on to something when he wrote, “Good is the enemy of great.” Each time you “hold your tongue” and opt not to speak your mind, you are getting further away from your true self, your best self…just to be perceived as good.
Having the ability to say what you need to say is essential to your quality of life. Yet, so many of us find it almost impossible to speak our truth. We equate being honest with being brutally honest (not the same thing at all). Somehow, we have internalized the message that it is not okay to be real about how we feel and what we need…to do so would be mean and selfish and imperfect and…bad. So, instead, we’re nice. We conform to whatever we think is acceptable in order to fit in, be loved, and not cause any trouble. We silence our pain and fear and resentment and desire and rage. We stuff it way down inside, because it’s not okay to be ourselves.
For whom do we do this?
Why in the world do we swallow our truth?
- Fear -of being rejected or hurting the other person or taking a risk.
- Denial -of true feelings about the situation at hand.
- Embarrassment -saving face can seem more important that being real.
- Survival -sometimes it’s necessary to live to fight another day.
- Love -sacrificing self for a loved one’s happiness is a small price to pay.
- Family Tradition -it’s hard to overcome. We always do what we always did.
- Personal Gain -we tell people what they want to hear, in order to get what we want.
- Rebellion -it can be an act of defiance to deny our own truth, especially if we don’t like or respect the other person.
- Control -okay, so it’s only a false sense of control, but it’s better than feeling overwhelmed or empty.
- Insert Your Reason(s) Here…
What does it cost us?
If you go along to get along, where are you actually going? And, who will you be when you get there? Will you ever get where you’re going at this rate? Nope. You won’t. You will end up where nice people do, and we all know where that is. However, if you risk being honest with yourself and everyone else, you can become the hero in your journey instead of the victim. None of us knows how long we have left to speak up, to speak out, to shout into the void. Now. Now is the time to find your voice.
The risk of speaking up for yourself is great. Some people might not like the new you…the truth teller. You won’t be nice anymore. Is that okay? Yes, absolutely, it is (of course, I’m not talking about going around and verbally eviscerating everybody you know). Be yourself. This opens you up to the exquisite risk of exposing your flaws and fears and mistakes and dreams and joys. Isn’t that fantastic? Here’s the trick, though…you gotta keep doing it. Take the risk to be yourself every day.
As Helen Keller famously wrote, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” If you’re ready to start the great adventure of being yourself and speaking from your heart, I salute you! If you’re thinking this all sounds great, but you have no idea where to begin, don’t worry. We can help. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced mental health counselors.